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Lowell Cohn: Sports got it right and banished bad guy Donald Sterling (w/video)

  • Fans hold up signs in support of the Los Angeles Clippers before a playoff game between the Clippers and Warriors on Tuesday in Los Angeles. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday that Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the league. (Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP)

LOS ANGELES — Police surrounded the Staples Center hours before Tuesday's playoff game between the Warriors and the Clippers. Police in shorts — it was hot outside — police on horses, police with guns and sticks. Serious police.

“They don't know what to expect,” said someone from the Clippers, whose owner Donald Sterling has been under fire since Friday night for racist remarks he made to his girlfriend. Tuesday was the 22nd anniversary of the Rodney King riots. You could see L.A. going up in flames all over again.

But there were no protests over racist remarks by Clippers owner Donald Sterling. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, God love him, took care of that. He resolved an ugly situation in mere days. Acted fast and decisively. Acted correctly and bravely. So, L.A. did not flame. You looked outside and what you saw was people coming to a game, fans in red shirts, Clippers fans. Happy. Resolved.

NBA On Donald Sterling Decision

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Silver kicked Sterling out of the NBA, gave him a lifetime ban, started the process of taking the Clippers away from him. Silver, in his first major act as commissioner — he's been on the job just three months — rid the league, rid you and me of the plague that is Sterling.

What is the plague? The plague is a racist making racist remarks. A racist putting down black people without a shred of shame.

Silver said no owner can do that in the NBA, a league where people from France and China and Argentina, you name the country, play alongside men from Chicago's inner city. A rainbow league.

It was like a fairytale. The evil guy got banished and everyone got back to life, and the kingdom was whole.

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